Clinical characteristics of the West Nile fever outbreak, Israel, 2000

Emerg Infect Dis. Jul-Aug 2001;7(4):675-8. doi: 10.3201/eid0704.010414.

Abstract

West Nile (WN) virus is endemic in Israel. The last reported outbreak had occurred in 1981. From August to October 2000, a large-scale epidemic of WN fever occurred in Israel; 417 cases were confirmed, with 326 hospitalizations. The main clinical presentations were encephalitis (57.9%), febrile disease (24.4%), and meningitis (15.9%). Within the study group, 33 (14.1%) hospitalized patients died. Mortality was higher among patients >70 years (29.3%). On multivariate regressional analysis, independent predictors of death were age >70 years (odds ratio [OR] 7.7), change in level of consciousness (OR 9.0), and anemia (OR 2.7). In contrast to prior reports, WN fever appears to be a severe illness with high rate of central nervous system involvement and a particularly grim outcome in the elderly.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Female
  • Fever / physiopathology
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Meningitis, Viral / mortality
  • Meningitis, Viral / physiopathology
  • Middle Aged
  • West Nile Fever / epidemiology
  • West Nile Fever / immunology
  • West Nile Fever / mortality
  • West Nile Fever / physiopathology*